Hypnosis glasgow hypnotherapy east renfrewshire glasgow hypnotherapy east renfrewshire hypnosis fear of flying.
GLASGOW-based life coach Ali Campbell used his own combination of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and hypnosis to tackle David’s fear of flying.
Clare and David are looking forward to Florida trip
Tony Nicoletti/Daily Record
IT’S the safest way to travel but, for my husband, just the thought of boarding an aeroplane was enough to fill him with terror.
David knows the statistics – about 9.9 million air passengers were carried safely last year for every one that lost their life in a crash – but, still, he would rather subject himself, and our family, to exhausting road trips across Europe than face boarding an aircraft.
Because when you’re a parent, your phobia is no longer your own.
Whether it’s easy to admit it to yourself or not, it becomes something that restricts the whole family – your kids go where you go or, in our case, didn’t go where we couldn’t go.
We are about to mark our 10th wedding anniversary and a honeymoon that saw us first board a packed train to London in a heatwave with the air con broken, then take the Eurostar to Paris, followed by an overnight train to Rome – and we still hadn’t even reached our final destination. There was another train ride to Naples and then a boat to Capri to catch.
We arrived drained, sleep-deprived and begging to be shown to our room, but it was a fitting initiation to what would be years of long journeys.
Now with two boys, aged seven and nine, we’ve endured miles of “are we nearly there?”, hours of traffic jams, leg cramps and frustration.
A simple trip to France – and, boy, we’ve seen a lot of France – would become an expensive and long road-trip involving several overnight stays along the way.
There have been pluses – we’ve seen a lot of countryside and met some interesting characters.
After each long trip, David would always say he wanted to fly next time.
Why didn’t we? Because his dread of the flight would have started weeks before the departure date, turning a holiday into hell. There was no point.
He wasn’t always that way and up until 15 years ago, he was a happy flier.
At the time, he had an Australian girlfriend with whom he flew to visit her family. But halfway there, he was paralysed with fear at the thought there were hundreds of people packed within a metal cocoon travelling thousands of feet above ground, held up by nothing more than the engines.
And he’s not alone in finding that thought more than a little unnatural.
It’s estimated as many as one in three of us feel anxious about flying – most likely for that very reason. But David represents the extreme end of the spectrum. He could hardly face picking someone up at an airport.
The last time he flew was to visit me in 2002, when I lived in London.
But the short flights to and from Edinburgh were a nightmare for him and he never flew again.
He’s tried everything – hypnotherapy, heavy-duty medication, REM therapy.
He wouldn’t try a fear-of-flying course because it involved a flight at the end of it. Nothing has worked.
Then came the crunch. Our boys are desperate to see Disneyland in California, which also happens to be a 30-minute drive from one of my favourite cousins. Whatever happens, myself and the boys will make that trip next summer but we want David to come too – and he’s sick at the thought of missing out.
At first we thought he could take a cruise ship to New York and then travel by rail to Los Angeles. The reality was a cost of nearly £10,000 and a 13-day journey just to get there. Another holiday hope bites the dust. Or has it?
David Johnston having hypnotherapy treatment
Tony Nicoletti/Daily Record
In a final attempt, I started to look into hypnotherapy again. I asked whoever I could think of in the know for recommendations. One name, the Glasgow-based life coach Ali Campbell, kept being mentioned.
David and I watched the video of him curing Katie Price of her fear of water following a swimming accident as a child. And we read the testimonials from previous clients, including the singers Kelly Rowland and Mica Paris, and TV actresses Ali Bastian and Nikki Sanderson, all vouching for his work.
When we contacted Ali, we didn’t spare him the details. We gave him a warts-and-all account of David’s history of anxiety – he’s a prolific worrier, trying to control everything around him and constantly fearing disaster. I thought Ali would say he didn’t believe David could be cured. But he didn’t.
We met him at the Visage clinic in Glasgow where he works, though he also sees clients in London and the US.
He uses his own combination of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and hypnosis to tackle deep-rooted phobias and addictions. He first chatted with David, explaining the way he works and how he believed my husband could be freed from the grip of anxiety and even fly again. Still, I daren’t hope.
Then he asked David to do a couple of simple visualisation exercises, before moving into hypnosis.
David’s hands were outstretched, palms up, trembling as he recalled his worst flight experiences. But as Ali took him into a deep state of relaxation, his hands became still and I realised Ali was having some impact.
Afterwards, David appeared calm but slightly dazed. When asked how he felt about flying, he said he didn’t know.
We’d been told sleep would help the hypnosis take a deeper effect and when we got back home, without saying a word, David went upstairs and fell fast asleep for three hours.
When he woke up, he felt he could drive to the airport. Then the following morning he woke saying he wanted to fly. Ali volunteered to accompany David on his first flight for 11 years. I booked them on to the shortest trip I could find – a 45-minute flight from Glasgow to Belfast, with an immediate return.
On the day of the flight David was relaxed but, as he approached the airport, nerves started to set in and he wondered if could actually do it.
David boarding a flight to Belfast with lifecoach Ali Campbell
Ali sat with David in the departure lounge and used what he called a “resetting” technique before boarding the plane. David didn’t thank me for booking a seat on a small, turboprop aircraft but I looked on it as immersion therapy.
Having got through take-off and turbulence, the small plane bobbing up and down in the gathering thunder clouds, he began to relax. In fact, he described his return journey as “just like being on a bus”. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
It means our California dream is now a reality. And although he may not sign up for pilot lessons, David is now a flier – something I never thought I’d see. We’ve booked to go to Spain in October but, better still, next summer the boys will go to Disneyland with their dad.
Contact: Linda Alexander, Clinical Hypnotherapy Glasgow and East Renfrewshire, Tel: 0141 632 1440 and 07875 493 359, also firstname.lastname@example.org
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